Bicycles And Society

Bicycles And Society
Today the bicycle is seen as a choice of transportation rather than necessity, this is due to it?s out dated technology. To westernized civilizations riding a bike has been seen to become a hobby. If a person was to travel down the street to the shop they would drive their car, this is because it is easier, quicker and more convenient to the person. This decision by a person is accepted by the community.
As technology has improved over time the use of bicycles has decreased. Before the motor vehicle revolution bicycles were a great type of transport as it was effective for the simplicity of the design. For a person who can not afford a motor vehicle and travels on a daily basis the bicycle is one of their best options for travel. This is shown particularly in Asian countries, in Asian cities and other cities across the world the bicycle can be seen as a more effective way of transportation as they are easier to park, would not normally have to pay to park it somewhere and can be just as quick or even quicker than traveling by car due to the amount of people in cars on the road. In suburbean area?s or country towns unless traveling a short distance the bicycle is not regularly seen as an option, various types of public and private transport are seen as more efficient alternatives.

In recent times using a bike instead of a car for a traveling purpose is seen to be a better choice were possible for example going down to the shop, this is because it is a type of excersize rather than taking the easy and lazy option of driving a car. Riding a bicycle is efficient as it does not use non renewable resources like petrol and therefore doesn?t cost the person anything. Bicycles are better for the environment and this can affect a person?s decession on wether to ride a bicycle or drive a car. Bicycle?s aren?t as comfortable to their substitutes as this is one of the reason?s a person would use an alternate type of transportation. If it was bad weather a person would be more inclined to use a car than a bike, people are more likely to ride a bike when they know they don?t have to be anywhere and are not working to a time schedule, if they know they can take their time and want to use a bicycle they are more inclined to do so.

As the price of fuel increases in the future there will be a push for people to look for alternatives to motor transport, the bicycles popularity and use could increase due to this factor. If innovation of the bicycle can continue to improve at a competitive level it will become more competitive with it?s substitutes. Either way the bicycle looks to stay as an alternative way of transport as the world becomes more environment friendly.

Bicycle Timeline

The first bicycle was invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais which was called the Draisinean, it had no crank or pedals and was described as a ?swift walker?.

Cranks and treadmills were introduced to the rear wheel in 1839 by Kirkpatrick MacMilan of Scotland.

In 1858 pedals are added to the front wheel of a two-wheeled machine, creating a bone-jarring machine called the velocipede or ?boneshaker.?

1869 saw Solid rubber tires replace iron velocipede tires and the term ?bicycle? is first used.
At the beginning of the 1870?s production of ?ordinary? bicycles (penny farthing) grew while innovation into bicycles improved with safer designs being made.

In 1888 John Boyd Dunlop, a veterinarian in Ireland develops the pneumatic (air-filled) tire, which provides a smoother ride. Prior to this, solid rubber tires were used.

In 1893 the design of the bicycle was changed to the modern diamond-pattern frame.

As the 19th century came to an end bicycles were becoming more widely used for such things as postal service and transportation for the working man providing more leisure time as it cut travel time.
From 1900 through the 1950?s there wasn?t much enhancement on the bicycle because of the invention of the car. Bikes looked the same for almost 50 years with thick rubber tires, one gear, and metal frames. Bicycles were seen to be toys due to the motor vehicle era, particularly for children
In the 1930?s Bicycles became more streamlined and more efficient, big innovations during the first half of the 20th century were in the running gear, with the introduction of quick-release wheels, derailleur gears and cable operated brakes. The use of aluminium alloy in parts such as wheel rims, handlebars and seat posts helped cut down on bicycle weights.

The 1960s saw gears as a common bicycle part, up to 10-speed gear shift becomes commonplace, though lots of bikes still have only one or three speeds.
1972 Bicycles outsell cars in the United States 13 million to 11 million, due mainly to a steep increase of petrol for cars at the time. Triple chain-ring cranks had become widely available, adding to the range of situation that bicycle were practical for.
All throughout the 1970?s and 1980?s the Mountain bikes and bmx became popular.
In the 1980?s renewed interests in health and fitness, by the middle and upper class perpetuated the acceptance and growth of commuting, recreational and touring bicycling.
In 1990 integrated brake/gear levers are introduced into bicycles as well as improvements in materials the in the bike?s design improving the quality and safety of bicycles. In recent decades there has been a flurry of technological innovation. New materials such as titanium and carbon fibre have become widespread. Combined brake and gear systems have been developed. And bicycle aerodynamics has become a science.
In 1996 Mountain biking was introduced as an Olympic sport.

In our current day bicycles range in a variety of different design for different uses that appeal to all types of people.

Transmission of a bicycle
Bicycle transmissions have continuously evolved for over a century and although they are deceptively simple, they are extremely difficult to improve. Transmision was first encourperated into bicycles in the mid 1800?s and were very basic and inefficient. The first pedal bicycles only had one gear and did not create any mechanical advantage for hills or different inclines or terrain. Penny Farthing?s were the first bikes to be seen as efficient as they could travel at speed due to the wheel turning two times per revolution of the pedals. The advantage was that there was more of a distance for each revolution which caused a more easy and comfortable ride. The ?safety bicycle? was the first bike to use a chain drive which allowed them to travel faster and be easier to ride. Early multi-speed bicycle used a double-sided rear wheel, with different-sized sprockets on each side. To change gears, the rider would stop and dismount, remove the rear wheel and reinstall it in the reverse direction Over time the actual design of the transmission on bicycles has not actually changed much but innovators have still been able to improve the materials and how they are used in the transmission, examples of this are multiple sprocket ratios on both the crank and rear axle allowing for the best possible combination of gears for the bikes use. Different metals are used in bicycles transmission, for example on race bikes the lightest possible metal would be used so the rider is not disadvantaged to their competitiors while on general bicycles a metal that would last an extended period of time would be used. The range of transmissions varies in price and qualities to suit all different types of bicycles.

Bicycle brake systems
There have been various types of brake systems through out history, and several types are still in use today. Early bicycles such as the high wheeled penny-farthing bikes had no brakes as the machines were fixed gear bicycles, a rider could reduce speed by reversing the thrust on the pedals or if the wanted to stop quickly they had to jump off the bike as it was moving. This created many accidents at the time and was considered one of the dangers of riding a bicycle.
The ?safety bicycle? was equipped with a front spoon brake and no rear brake, although with no free wheel, back-pedalling was an option. Spoon brakes act by apply a pad to the top of the tyre This was undoubtedly a big improvement on having no brakes at all, but it was not very powerful and almost useless in wet weather.

In the late 1800?s the rim brake was invented and is still used on almost all bicycles today, rim brakes are controlled by a lever on the handlebars and come in different sizes and styles depending on the size of the wheel and bike.

Drum brakes are another type of system that was introduced to bicycles, they are designed to operate in wet and muddy whether but are heavy and are not seen as effective as other various braking systems.

Disc brakes are effective brake that are on advanced bikes of today, a caliper squizes the disc as the wheel rotates. Disc brake are seen to be the most effective type of braking system although they do have a price tag to match.

Bicycles And Society 8.3 of 10 on the basis of 1084 Review.